On the same day that Los Angeles County supervisors approved the creation of an LGBTQ commission and the expansion of gender-affirming care, Orange County banned the Pride flag from flying on any county property.
Tuesday’s meeting also took place at the beginning of LGBTQ Pride Month.
Democrats have a majority on the Orange County Board of Supervisors, but one of them voted with the two Republicans to ban the Pride flag.
Democrat Doug Chaffee sided with Republicans Andrew Do and Donald Wagner in approving the Pride flag ban. Do requested the ban.
Democrats Vicente Sarmiento and Katrina Foley voted against the policy.
Orange County’s move follows similar action from the Huntington Beach City Council earlier this year.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 to pass a flag restriction on county buildings, which Wagner said was in direct response to a request to fly a specific flag this month — stopping short of naming the Pride flag.
The vote only allows Orange County, state, and federal flags, as well as a flag for U.S. prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action.
The supervisors who supported the ban said flying any flag supporting a group of people would make their meetings “divisive” public forums.
“It’s a distraction,” said Chaffee. “It takes me away from really working to make the county better.”
Do argued his proposal wasn’t motivated by a specific cause or social issue and that he has routinely supported the LGBTQ+ community.
Wagner, however, said his support of Do’s proposal was a direct response to flying the Pride Flag.
“It is not a coincidence that this policy is in front of us right now. It is not a coincidence that we’re considering it today for the first time in the more than 100 years of this County’s existence,” he said.
“We’re considering it today, in response to the divisive effort to fly one particular flag. So yes, there absolutely is a connection,” Wagner said.
Foley said banning the Pride flag “sends the wrong message to America and to the world.”